Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    July 25, 2013 1:00pm-1:31pm PDT

1:00 pm
>> thank you. commissioner jackson. trustee jackson. >> chair cohen and members of this committee, i just want to thank everybody and thank supervisor avalos for having this hearing. i think it is very important. so, i just want to start off first by saying 25% of the california community colleges are actually on some sort of sanction, being warning or even more serious sanctions. so, i think the misnomer that we're the only college that the accjc has put a, you know, has put sanctions on is untrue. so, we must under that. i think many folks say that a lot of these sanctions are a lack of resources. city college lost over $53 million over the past three years and that has taken us
1:01 pm
from a college that served 110,000 students to a college that serves 85,000 students. there was a statement that said that we didn't review our mission statement for the last four years. well, i just want to say that's false. we didn't review our mission statement, but what we prioritized in our mission statement was access. we said that the person that is getting their ged or getting their esl classes is just as important as a person that's getting their engineering degree or looking to transfer to u.c. berkeley or to stanford. those are our values. these mission statement might not have been to what they liked, but it was an expression of our values as san franciscans that we think everybody dunkelberg -- this should be a campus that's for everybody. and there were comments about our fiscal management that we have to say that city college is actually the first college [speaker not understood] to be
1:02 pm
the first college to return to pre-recession revenues thanks to the parcel tax and prop 30, we were on track to get all the money that we lost back. so, i just wanted to clear some of that up first. the reason i believe that we're partially here is this is a difference of our values. we believe that -- we love our second chance program. it is a program that helps ex offenders get out of the criminal justice system return to city college, hopefully get their degree, and continue to, you know, contribute to our society. we have a college program that helps high school folks who drop out of high school get their high school diploma and get to their two-year degree. we also have our ged program, we fought hard. there was a recommendation to cut the ged program from our mission statement and we as an institution said no. i know that a young man who
1:03 pm
grew up in double rock, he went to southeast campus, very fortunate. in bayview we're fortunate to have two campuses in our neighborhood. he grew up, went to southeast campus got his ged from our transitional space campus and went to evans campus and took a nine-month certificate program to get his certification for mechanic. he now works at an auto shop off of south van ness and he makes $45,000. that is the type of story that city college should always be like. that is a type of story that we try to prioritize. that is a type of student that we try to serve at city college. and i believe that that is kind of our clash of values. now, i understand that we all are fighting to keep city college open, but a lot of us kind of say, you know, we want to keep city college open. we also want to keep it -- save it the right way. and the right way is making sure that we have access for all students, not just the
1:04 pm
students who want to transfer to 2 and 4 year colleges because eventually everyone might want to do that, but we should say it should be there for esl students, it should be there for everybody because education really does contribute to -- i think 60% of our culinary students end up within the first three months, they end up getting a job somewhere in san francisco hospitalities industry. these are like stories and these are statistics that we can continue to pump out. so, our institution actually does a very great job at educating students. i don't think that is at issue. in terms of governance, we just prioritize different things. when we lost $53 million, the first thing that we did was we looked at our administrators and we split the cost savings there. we looked at consulting fees and looked at cost savings there. that is drastically different than what some other colleges did. first they looked at their faculty to fire. then they looked at their staff to fire. then they looked at classes to cut. we said we don't want to balance the budget on the backs
1:05 pm
of students and our workers if we don't have to. and that's the drastically different approach to looking at it. once again, that reflects our values as leaders and elected leaders here in san francisco. i know trustee -- i know supervisor avalos, you mentioned student equity. well, some of the things that we did look at, and i was happy to co-sponsor, was we actually had a resolution to first collect the data for student equity because we do know that our black and brown students are not succeeding even in community college at the levels of others. we also looked at accelerated basic skills courses and even though there is a lot of -- a lot of conversation, a lot of debate in disagreement. that's what a democracy should be. i think we get deemed in terms of the accjc because we're not smooth, democracy is not smooth. you have arguments, you have debates, but at the end of the day you come out with an outcome that is justified.
1:06 pm
we're improving these accelerated skills courses so students who, yes, they did take three, four, five, six semesters to get out of basic skills. now we're going to hopefully see them get out of their basic skills courses a lot faster and that will lead to healthier outcomes. and so while we're not perfect and i don't think any institution s we were at least trying to make an institution that is -- that has educational equity as well. but i also get back to the part that you can't have any student equity if you don't have access. there is no achievement to excel in the classroom. (applause) >> and, so, you know, the impact in terms of city college of san francisco is you can demonstrate it. i would love to have an actual economic demonstration -- economic analysis of what that looks like. and i'd be very interested in continuing that. but i do know that, you know, from the folks that i talk to, especially at the southeast and evans campus and at the mission
1:07 pm
campus as well, the people that i talk to, you know, their lives improve. you know, a lot of folks go into our early childhood education classes. they come out, you know, we have a deficit of actual child care slots and you can't go to work if you don't have affordable child care. we help in terms of comping out more a supply of child care workers so they can lower the cost of child care. i have a 2-1/2 year old. it's another rent to pay for child care these days. but we try to resolve that. we actually try to resolve that by having more child care slots available. so, i think if you just look at it, yes, everybody knows city college is, you know, important, but these are the things that let us secure -- we wanted to prioritize classes. and maybe we could have made some better decisions. i think so, yes, but really our decisions were made so we can provide access to everybody. and then my last point before i leave is i know that there was a comment about the real estate
1:08 pm
department. i do really appreciate the mayor's office being involved with this process, but i do think that one service we might not need in terms of prioritization of resources is our real estate department. [laughter] >> i think we have a pretty good understanding of how valuable city college is in the altruistic part and the monetary part as well. and i don't think we're for sale so i don't really need that -- (applause) >> i would just humbly request that we can, you know, shift the resources to other things other than our real estate. thank you so much. i really appreciate this hearing and opportunity to speak. (applause) >> bravo. thank you [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon, chair cohen, supervisors. thank you for having us here and giving us space for this conversation.
1:09 pm
one of the sad things about losing our locally elected board is that there is now no formal public space for these kind of conversations to happen. it won't be happening at city college for the foreseeable future. and, so, the fact that you all have stepped up and provided the space i think is extremely important. i will be brief. you all have been asking excellent questions and i want to thank you for that. and there are a lot of people back there who know a lot more about the details of what is wrong, about what is happening here than i do. but i want to make a few points. i don't want to pick on gohar [speaker not understood] because she works very hard and she has worked very hard over the last years and she continues to do everything she can to keep city college open. but she presented you with a set of basically accjc talking points about who they are and how they operate which in my brief experience on that board are not true. she talked about this as a body
1:10 pm
that engages in voluntary self-regulation. now, the voluntariness of this is interesting to me. the fact that they tell you, as city college has been told, you need to plan to close because if we take away your accreditation, you will have to close and this institution will shut down, does not feel very voluntary. the loss of state and federal funding that will come next july if they follow through on their threat and take away accreditation is not very voluntary. and i do not know the colleges of california have had conversation in recent times about whether this is the right way to decide whether they can continue. this is a peer process. in fact, it seems to be a process dominated by a very small set of former administrators. i think that the california faculties who are engaged in what appears to be a real and painful struggle with the accjc would question whether in fact this is an organization of peers.
1:11 pm
and their statements that the standards are clear is not my experience. my experience -- the standards may be clear, but their interpretation leaves abundant room for -- for interpretation and for subjective analysis. and i think that the treatment accjc has given san francisco city college has been extremely biased and extremely subjective. so, i don't think accreditation, whatever we're hearing about it from the accjc and even from folks at city college now, it's not working for san francisco. this is an 58,000 person institution that serves our community. you know that you're hearing this. ~ 85,000 and the notion that we're being told this is going to shut down in one year or could shut down in one year is absolutely outrageous and everyone should be outraged. president rizzo talked about the real harm that has come from the fact that accjc's approach to this whole process of reform at city college was
1:12 pm
essentially a knife at city college's throat. tons of millions of dollars lost because of declining enrollments, inability to carry forward the very administrative reorganization that the accjc wants to see happen we now have to convince administrators that other places to come to city college where city college may not be around in a year. they have to leave jobs to come here. that's a very hard thing to do. we have to do -- most critical thing we need is strong, effective and inclusive chief leader, chancellor ~ and convincing that person to come in these circumstances is going to be very hard. this is real harm, even setting aside the loss of a locally elected board, the drop in bond rating that's happened, this has been damaging. so, when they say they don't want to argue about the rules of the game in the middle of the game, i have two issues. one is this doesn't feel like a game to me. (applause) >> this is about the lives and their educations and this is about san francisco and who we are.
1:13 pm
and the harm is real and immediate and doesn't wait till the end of the game. so, i want to thank you all again for stepping up. i think when we are dealing with a body that is unelected, unaccountable, nontransparent, it is very hard for elected officials to figure out how they -- what even their role is in trying to address this problem, that there is a real harm, it's real for san francisco. and i'm glad that you are doing everything that you can to try and address it, so, thank you. (applause) >> so, we can start public comment, and i have a number of cards to bring up. first, i want to put a card up forward that's alyssa messer with aft 21, 21 and might need a little extra time to present that. we need help getting that set up as well.
1:14 pm
and then what is the length of time for -- two minutes per person. okay. tell us when you're ready. >> so, sfgov-tv, can we have the -- thank you. [speaker not understood] aft 21 21, we represent the counselors, librarians and instructors of the college. and i want to thank the supervisors today for providing us this space and for your concern and your curiosity and especially for your vigilance. it's very important and we all thank you. i'll try to move quickly. i have a very brief presentation. in keeping with supervisor campos' concern about what it is we stand to lose, that's something we've really been looking at and thinking about.
1:15 pm
so, hopefully i can make this work. city college is -- and i don't need to tell you this, but sometimes we need to step back and just see it again -- an extremely valuable publicly owned resource that is in imminent danger at the moment. we are widely supported by the electorate, and yet we were denied our accreditation as of next year. as you've heard, it's not final, but we are in grave danger. denying our accreditation will effectively close the college. so, we're looking for everyone's help to help us save this essential public resource. we opened in 1935 as a response to the economic and societal impact of the great depression. that seems rather relevant at this moment in time. from the first $2 million bond in 1938 that was passed to proposition a which was passed
1:16 pm
last november, the citizens of san francisco have consistently surprised city leaders with their deep support for the vision and mission of city college of san francisco. so, proposition a was supported by 73% of the electorate last fall. (applause) even in tough times, city college of san francisco has consistently chosen to affirm san francisco's value of inclusion, accessibility and diversity. at the forum we held last thursday night, and we thank supervisor avalos for co-sponsoring along with the san francisco labor council and assembly member tom ammiano's office, one of the questions that was asked by one of the students who was there was, why would you want to take away the starting line? starting line is so important. doesn't make any sense to take away the starting line when we're trying to help so many students from so many different walks of life get to the finish line. so, we know that city college of san francisco can be better.
1:17 pm
we think we can do better fiscal tracking and have better efficiencies. our employees all over the college, for instance, would really like to get paychecks that were accurate. that's very important to the folks in this room. no one disagrees that there are things to improve there. we think we can better assist under served students, the majority of whom are students of color, achieve their educational goals. we can integrate best practices into our operations and we can govern more effectively. democracy is messy. it's something to be proud of and i think we consistently make hard decisions and challenging decisions, but i think we should be commended for what we've done to protect 85,000 students from what could be happening. and we want to make sure that continues and the college remains open. one thing that no one, not even accjc focuses on is actually what matters most and that's the education that we provide
1:18 pm
to the students at san francisco and the bay area. so, i wanted to just take a quick moment to talk about the california federation of teachers and aft 21 21 complaints about the accjc. you've heard more about that just now from others, but we had -- we made a decision to file that complaint against accjc and it was necessary and it was timely. many months of deep research into the accjc and to the accrediting commission as well as what was happening at city college over the last year convinced us that it was essential that we raise our voices and document some of this information. someone needed to speak the truth about the overreach of an accrediting commission that in san francisco and elsewhere has acted in contradiction with its mission, harming the interests of students, faculty, staff, and the broader community and community colleges throughout california. it would have been irresponsible not to do that. i do want to say, however, that
1:19 pm
bringing this information forward hasn't stopped the faculty at city college of san francisco, hasn't stopped everyone at city college of san francisco from working at the same time to address those recommendations. so, we're pretty smart people. we work very hard, and we've worked extra hard over this last year. and, so, what you've seen is our employees who have been working to meet those standards, for instance, working on the student learning outcome even as we've been researching and asking critical questions of the accjc. and even as we've been doing our primary job, which is educating the students of san francisco. we can do all those things, choosing one doesn't mean not doing another, and we will continue to do that work ~. so, city college is san francisco. we really want everyone to remember that and we want to come together around that fact. there's no other place in san francisco where people from all
1:20 pm
neighborhoods, backgrounds, and perspectives can learn side by side united by their mutual desire to improve their lives and the lives of everyone in their community. thank you. (applause) >> thank you. colleagues, any comments or questions for [speaker not understood]? okay. we can go on to our general public comment. i have a stack of cards and we'll call people up. if you could please come up as your name is called, you can line up on my right along the wall and i'll read them off. brian mcewen. terrence yancy. [speaker not understood]. donna hayes. karen saginor. sorry if i mispronounce any names. okay, please come forward.
1:21 pm
thank you, supervisor cohen, for sponsoring this as well as supervisor avalos for your leadership in our community for many years. as a former student, long-time student and current student at city college, the last 12 years on and off, i'm also a graduate of s.f. state. i'm growing gravely concerned what's been happening, what's been going on in our community here with potential threat and loss of our great institution here. and, so, there's many other folks behind me that want to speak. i just wanted to show my support as well as a student for the measures to save our school. and i wanted to bring up just a couple of points, small points. funding is a crucial issue here
1:22 pm
with enrollment, something that's been brought up here as well as economic analysis for the impact. it costs about $6,000 per class to buy a class at city college. if we leverage that comparing that to the amount of money that we're going to lose, something should be considered. there should be some kind of emergency funding available for this kind of cause that we can leverage, that can be given to help us stem that kind of flow or loss of enrollment. certainly the public support for enrollment is a measure from all of our elected leaders should be a given. i also wanted to say one quick thing about the loss of our student trustees. shanell williams, she needs to be mentioned as well. mayor lee, there's two sides you can be on. on our side or accjc's. if you don't step on our side,
1:23 pm
then your recall is a conclusion. (applause) thank you. >> thank you. hi, my name is terrence yancy. i'm a recent graduate at sf state and i'm now at city college to complete requirements for a teaching credential. first i want to thank the trustee rizzo for correcting information from our liaison. i was [speaker not understood] liaison [speaker not understood] doesn't know basic facts that i know and i'm not paid to know that. i also want to point out it's been really tough, i felt really disrespected by the administration of ccsf and they're not open. two e-mails came out. one several months ago from interim chancellor and once recently from the super trustees pretty much discouraging the campus community from, you know, trying to organize our speak out or speak their voice about the accreditation process and for an institution of higher learning that's shameful.
1:24 pm
yes, city college always, you know, has room for improvement and we constantly need to be trying to improve but that needs to be done with the input of students, faculty, staff, the community, elected leaders, not an emergency manager. i just want to quickly say at one point, you know, because who knows, it might come down to, you know, [speaker not understood] sounds like that's what the mayor's office is talking about fighting over the crumbs what's left in the budget. there is a myth out there that there is no money. there is money for education. it's a priority crisis. i'm not even going to sit here and get into prop 13 and the tax base because anybody from the friends can talk about ti want to point to an article sunday from the new york times that talked about this little financial -- goldman sachs is using to manipulate the price of aluminum. it's drained like $5 billion out of the economy over the last three years and has brought nothing, no useful thing out of it. this is happening all over the place. and, you know, so, we're being bled dry. there is the money there and our elected leaders need to
1:25 pm
stand up and say that and do something about it. thank you. (applause) >> thank you. next speaker. before she speaks, i'll call a number of cars. luma nick vthv. theresa [speaker not understood]. hull man turner. hello, my name is [speaker not understood] i teach in the art department and a chairperson of the art department. i just wanted to let you know in recent weeks fellow faculty and i have been distributing those beautiful fall schedules throughout the area. and sadly many of the people that we speak with say that we're closed. so, we very seriously need your help in advertising the fact that we're open and accredited as g ohar said. but we need your faces attached to the statements and we need to be everywhere. finally i want to say all of us are responsible in assuring that adequate ~ and reliable public funding is directed in a timely fashion to support high-quality and accessible public education. and i thank you all for
1:26 pm
initiating this public hearing and what i expect will be ongoing public discussions about our shared and critical resource which is city college of san francisco. thank you. (applause) >> thank you. hi, thank you again for having this meeting. my name is donna hayes. i've been a counselor at city college of san francisco for over 23 years. i want to say that we serve so many different populations and it's not just san francisco. it is a the bay area, naturally the whole country. ~ it's i have students from city college of san francisco not only for our wonderful technical programs, but also labor studies, for lgbtq programs, for any of the ethnic studies programs that we provide that many community colleges and even four-year institutions do not. so, we are serving under served
1:27 pm
populations that are ignored, thor denied access, and it is important that we maintain our -- excuse me, our community and that community word was taken out of our mission statement in deference to the accjc. ~ that are it is imperative we maintain our city college. not only that, but when you talk about this workplace education, i lived in nevada for four years and i served as a counselor at the nevada community college. that is a state that is a right to work state that has no respect for labor. and we are talking now about a race to the bottom of education. we're trying to deny our population widespread education. we're trying to turn everybody into a widget that can be easily replace, easily threatened, and easily denied any access. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. please. (applause) ~ hi, my name is luma nichol
1:28 pm
and i work for [speaker not understood] coalition of students, faculty, staff, and community that have been organizing [speaker not understood] and rallies around this issue to save city college. and what i want to say is that the accreditation process is a sham. it's about destroying a strong quality academic institution so the privatizers can swoop in. it began with three years of budget cuts. and in that process, the college decided to maintain its services and serve students rather than put money in reserves. and because fiscal matters [speaker not understood] used to be part of the accreditation process, they put it in there so that city college would get trapped. attack that continue to happen at city college that lower enrollment are a continuing
1:29 pm
part of the sham and the attacks. i work with radical women and the corporate plan to graduate widgets within two years is going to be disastrous for women, especially poor and working class women who go to city college. already there is talk of cutting out child care services if they haven't already done it. women, you know, need more time to get through school and support -- is that the first or the second? >> first. thank you. so, i'm really glad you're holding this hearing and i want to say that i think it's really going to take a lot of courage to stand up to the forces that are arrayed against city college. the federal government in the form of the department of education and the state government through the board of governors is part of that and they are doing the bidding of the corporations. and we have big guns in our
1:30 pm
institution. what i want today say is the good news is you're not alone. you have the support of the majority of people in this city. (applause) ~ wanted to >> thank you very much. next speaker. good afternoon, everyone. supervisors. my name is [speaker not understood]. i'm from mission campus city college. for me it is very important to keep open the city college because i have to study at city college. city college for me is like my second [speaker not understood]. being study in city college a medical receptionist, emt, and i was working, but i had two accidents on my job so i returned to city college again. and i'm studying ged. i want to continue to finish my ged.